National Assembly yesterday promised to give expeditious passage to proactive capital market legislations that would boost the sector in particular and the nation’s economy in general.
Chairman of the National Assembly and Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, made the promise at the ongoing two-day capital market stakeholders’ forum organised by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Capital Market and Institutions in Abuja.
They called on stakeholders to come up with draft bills that would provide adequate legislative instruments to fast-track the necessary change and reforms expected in all critical sectors of the country.
The Nigerian stock market lost more than N1.63 trillion in January this year, representing 16.50 percent to close at N8.225 trillion from the N9.850 trillion in December last year, due to profit-taking and currency volatility.
According to Saraki, economic reform bills that will make Nigeria investors’ friendly are already at critical stages at the upper legislative chamber.
He listed them to include Independent Warehouse Regulatory Agency Bill, Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Bill, Franchising Bill, Companies and Allied Matters Act (amendment) Bill, Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Bill and Nigerian Railway Authority Bill.
The Senate president said: “I hope that when you leave here at the end of the two days, what I will like to see is a working document with a clear timetable, listing the draft bills that you want us to pass.
“The eighth National Assembly understands the issue that Nigeria is going through. And I can assure you to give us those bills, we will turn them around and pass them as soon as possible,” he added.
In his address, Dogara informed that the lower house was in the process of tightening regulations in the stock market to ensure that the investments were protected from fraudulent operators.
He said this had become imperative in view of the fact that the nation was in dire need of investors to bring in their resources to diversity its sources of income.
“We strongly believe that the capital market is a major tool for wealth creation and mobilisation of funds to grow and diversify the Nigerian economy. We want to emphasise that any proposed legislation must find a way to protect ordinary Nigerians, some of whom have invested their life savings in the market from fraudulent market players. Many Nigerians have tales of woes from the irresponsible activities of these unscrupulous stakeholders in the market. The recent regulatory sanctions to some stock brokers and market players are, therefore, a step in the right direction,” he said.
Dogara added that the capital market offered the best opportunity to diversify the economy by bringing fresh vistas and windows for investment, while expressing confidence that the capital market could fill this gap by taking the lead in yielding opportunities that would help in revamping Nigeria’s economy.
He expressed the willingness of the House of Representatives to contribute its quota “to arrest this dangerous drift. Considering Nigeria’s population, human and material resources, our capital market could do much better in terms of depth, breadth, size, liquidity and access to investment opportunities.”
He also noted that Nigeria as a nation was blessed with what it takes to be economically self-sufficient but must look inwards to ascertain the reason why it has not been able to attain that status.
“At the heart of these questions must be the realisation that deep call unto deep. Anything of valour is never found on the surface. Concomitantly, for our market to deliver its full potentials, it must be deepened. This, I believe, is the major challenge before all of us here today,” he stressed.
He called on all stakeholders to work together to ensure that Nigeria’s diversification drive achieves its full potentials.
“As major stakeholders in the Nigerian-project, the National Assembly strongly believes that a pro-active engagement and collaboration between the legislature, the executive and organised private sector will help to achieve the economic potentials of the Nigeria’s Capital Market.
“It is indisputable that continued collaboration and buy-in of major stakeholders in the public and private sectors is one of the major ways of attaining the lofty ideals and salient objectives of the Nigerian Capital Market Master Plan,” he stressed.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on his part said Nigeria’s capital market required a stable macro-economic environment, strong legal and regulatory framework to protect property rights, good corporate governance as well as strong financial infrastructure.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the special adviser to the president on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipe-Olu, said the capital market had a key role to play in helping to finance domestic borrowing plans.
He said: “The federal government will borrow N984billion from domestic markets to finance the N1.84trillion deficit 2016 budget of N6.06trillion.
“We need the capital market for the mobilisation of finance. And to mobilise that finance, there is the need for enforcement of rules and regulations which are the bedrock of capital investment,” he said.


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